SOUTH BEND – Jerian Grant and Jack Cooley scored 22 points each and Notre Dame held off DePaul 84-76 on Saturday for its sixth win in a row.
Cooley also had 14 rebounds and Grant scored 15 of his points in the second half when the Irish (17-8, 9-3 Big East) finally broke away from the Blue Demons.
The score was 68-all when DePaul’s bench was charged with a technical foul. Notre Dame scored the next seven points to go up 75-68 with 5:30 to play.
DePaul (11-13, 2-10) got within three points twice in the final 3:28 but couldn’t come closer than that.
Jeremiah Kelly led the Blue Demons with 17 points and Cleveland Melvin had 16 points and six rebounds.
Notre Dame outrebounded DePaul 33-21 and shot 60 percent from the field.
The first half produced a faster pace than Notre Dame traditionally plays and the Irish turned the ball over nine times. DePaul scored 11 first-half points off those turnovers and the game was 34-all at halftime. The Blue Demons’ largest lead in the first half was seven.
Cooley, who finished 10 of 12 from the field, scored 10 points on five shot attempts and added eight rebounds in the half. Jamee Crockett led DePaul at the half with eight points.
Notre Dame made 11 of its first 16 shots in the second half to take a 61-54 lead with 11:14 left. The Blue Demons responded with offensive efficiency of their own, using just four possessions to take a 63-61 lead.
DePaul’s Krys Faber and Brandon Young, starters in every previous game this season, were held out of the starting lineup by coach Oliver Purnell.